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Starpoint hockey captures historic first championship

The old hockey adage of good things tend to happen when a player crashes the net once again was proven to be true.

Starpoint’s reward for doing that well Sunday – a historic Section VI championship.

The Spartans scored twice off rebounds, including Blake Dewey’s game-winning goal with 6 minutes, 18 seconds left as they defeated No. 1 seed Williamsville South, 3-1, to capture the Section VI Division II title at KeyBank Center.

The title is the program's first in three seasons as a school-sponsored varsity team.

Dewey’s initial shot from close range was blocked by a Billies defender, but he quickly corralled the rebound and fired it past a helpless Jayce Faso. Joe LoBrutto added an insurance goal for second-seeded Starpoint with 2:57 left, as he used a defenseman as a screen and snuck a hard, low wrist shot past Faso.

AJ White made 21 saves for the Spartans (20-1-2-1), who lost in overtime early in the season to South but have won all 20 of their games since that defeat.

The Billies took a 1-0 lead early in the second period on a goal by Tyler Hagelberger. Starpoint tied it with 5:30 left in the period as Justin Bull won a faceoff, drove to the net and deposited the rebound of a hard shot from the point.

Williamsville South (18-4-1), one of the Original Eight founding members of the Federation, fell to 0-2 all-time in playoff championship games.

Starpoint advances to the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association Tournament. It faces a still-to-be-determined opponent Saturday at Buffalo State Sports Arena in a state quarterfinal contest, whose winner advances to the Final Four on March 14 at LECOM Harborcenter.

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